#3 – Too much coaching turnover
When the quarterback arrived at Cleveland in 2018, Hue Jackson was his head coach. That lasted eight games as Jackson was fired and replaced on an interim basis by Gregg Williams. Then came the failed Freddie Kitchens era in 2019, only for Kevin Stefanski to get the job in 2020. That is a ton of turnover for any young player, let alone one trying to be a franchise quarterback. There was never a consistent philosophy in place, and the quarterback was working with too many new people on an annual basis.
#2 – A bad injury
The Browns entered 2021 as Super Bowl favorites. Then, disaster struck when Mayfield went to make a tackle in Week 2 and injured his labrum. He clearly struggled week in and week out, but continued to play, and the team suffered as a result. This was a shocking sight because it was supposed to be the year in which Mayfield earned himself a mega-deal on par with other quarterbacks in the league. Instead, his value tanked, and the front office got an early start on finding his replacement. However, there are still questions as to why he was allowed to play while being so injured. He showed what he could do when healthy in 2020, so this remains a mystery for fans in Cleveland.
#1 – A change in philosophy
The Browns were committed to building with Mayfield at the helm. But his 2021 struggles were enough for ownership to commit to going all-in on a star like Watson, even with his ongoing legal troubles.
They were done with being patient and decided to offer a record deal in the process. This was a huge flip, but they are hoping to take a route like the Buffalo Bills, where a slow build turned into a consistent contender. The Browns tried that; unfortunately, it didn’t work, and now they are taking a new approach. Mayfield is now left seeking to restart his career elsewhere. If he succeeds, Browns fans will be wondering why it couldn’t have happened in Cleveland.
Baker Mayfield’s best option and stats
Mayfield was supposed to be a franchise savior for the Cleveland Browns. And for a short period of time, he was just that. He led the team to the playoffs in 2020 and even took down the Pittsburgh Steelers to advance to the Divisional Round. With the Browns’ acquisition of Watson, so much has changed. But Mayfield still has options.